Court of Appeal upholds complaint about “discriminatory” ruling

The Court of Appeal has upheld a complaint about a ruling which saw a transgender Jewish woman barred from seeing her children.

The decision means the case can now be brought before the High Court.

In 2015, the woman, known only as ‘J’, issued an application for contact with her five children after being ostracized from the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in 2015.

In the initial ruling, Mr Justice Peter Jackson said the likelihood of the children and their mother being marginalised or excluded by the ultra-Orthodox community was so real, and the consequences so great, “that this one factor, despite its many disadvantages, must prevail over the many advantages of contact”.

He said the children could instead receive letters from the woman four times a year.

But the Court of Appeal, describing the case as “stark, deeply saddening and extremely disturbing”, said the Judge failed to see the discriminatory element of his ruling.

“The best interests of these children seen in the medium to longer term is in more contact with their father if that can be achieved. So strong are the interests of the children in the eyes of the law that the courts must persevere. As the law says in other contexts “never say never”. The doors should not be closed at this early stage in their lives,” it said in its ruling.

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Alison Green
Alison joined Mackrell Turner Garrett in 1989 and qualified as a solicitor in 1991, becoming a partner in the firm in 2010. Her expertise covers matrimonial work, including divorce and the associated financial and children issues; pre and post-nuptial agreements; co-habitation disputes; civil partnership agreements and the breakdown of civil partnerships.